The crawl space is arguably the most important “room” in your home. It contains the support for the entire structure, about 50% of the breathing air that will enter your home, the wires, cables, plumbing, ductwork, and often HVAC systems that make your entire home function properly. Yet, it is commonly the most ignored space in the house. When overlooked, the crawl space becomes an environment for humidity and moisture, which causes mold growth and wood rot. This mold and rot compromises the structural integrity of the wood framing system which leads to cracks in your drywall, uneven floors and doors, and a variety of other problems. Moisture in the crawl space also contributes to the damage of insulation causing higher energy bills, and provides the perfect living conditions for pests, rodents, and snakes.
Crawl spaces collect some of the most unlikeable characteristics of any area in a home. Insects, spiders, snakes, rats and rodents, moisture and water, mold and wood rot, trash and hanging insulation, loose wires and cables run all over many crawl spaces. Does this describe the room under your house? It doesn’t have to. Did you know that because the natural circulation of airflow moves upwards that up to 50% of the air you breathe in your home comes from your crawl space? Does the air in your house have to pass through mold or rodent feces in the crawl space? It’s no wonder that allergies and asthma can come as a result, not to mention more serious breathing issues. Does your crawl space have debris that is flammable feeding from a dryer vent or just left down there to rot by previous half-hearted work? Does your crawl space have loose wires and cables that dangle dangerously close to standing water? If you’re lucky, maybe they aren’t live after being chewed by the rodent friends living down there. All of these factors combined paints a pretty hazardous picture.
Get rid of that nasty crawl space!
People, like ourselves, prefer to think of problems as happening to someone else, but many houses with crawl spaces have some combination of the above mentioned troubles. Although it seems like an uninviting place we want to pretend doesn't exist under our house, it is better to face the problem head on and address the causes bringing all these symptoms with four easy steps.
For a complete encapsulation system recommended by VFS, there are a few other factors to get right, including re-insulation of the space. Your expert inspector can build your crawl space repair solution with you to reach the goals for your home. Allow your family to breathe clean air again, maintain structurally sound dry wood by eliminating mold and wood rot, and even save on energy bills!
Equipment to fix my moisture problem.
To transform your crawl space from a dark, damp, moldy environment into a clean and dry space, VFS recommends a full encapsulation system. A crawl space encapsulation system is another way of saying a sealed crawl space. A full system requires many components such as a crawl space dehumidifier, crawl space liner or vapor barrier, and in some cases drainage and insulation. But, these elements alone are not enough to truly encapsulate or seal your crawl space. Many crawl space repair companies suggest a few simple components like liner, a dehumidifier and sealed vents which they call an encapsulation system. In reality, there are a few more essentials that a sealed crawl space design requires to preserve your home’s health.
Installing liner or vapor barrier, a dehumidifier, and sealing crawl space vents IS NOT a crawl space encapsulation system.